Kids ASK! about Anything & Everything
Editor writes: A very interesting question this is indeed. After much scrounging around, some insightful information was found to shed light on this somewhat contradictory situation.
In the news release by the Ministry of Home Affairs (www.mha.gov.sg/news_details.aspx?nid=276), it was mentioned that:
“Even when conveying persons in urgent need of treatment, ambulance drivers are required to ensure that all other vehicles have stopped and given way, and it is safe if they have to beat a red light. Warning lights and sirens must also be switched on to alert other road users to give way.”
And here’s the official reply from the Traffic Police Department:
“Under the Road Traffic Rules, any emergency vehicle shall have the right of way over all other traffic when on urgent duty call, and all traffic should give way to such vehicles.
Motorists are legally bound to give way to emergency vehicles with their sirens switched on. They should do so at the earliest opportunity in a prompt and safe manner. Motorists should not drive at a faster speed in front of emergency vehicles. Instead, they should draw in as close to the left-hand or right-hand edge of the road as possible to allow the emergency vehicle to pass through. Other motorists in the adjacent lanes should give way to vehicles that are making way for the emergency vehicles. Where necessary, all vehicles should be brought to a stop to allow a clear passage for the emergency vehicle.
In addition, road users should give way to emergency vehicles with only the flashing lights switched on. Drivers of emergency vehicles may sometimes switch on only the flashing lights if they assess that the road conditions afford the easy notice of their vehicle by other road userswithout the audible siren. This practice avoids additional noise on our roads, especially at night. However, the emergency drivers will switch on the siren if they find that they are not able to gain the right of way with the flashing lights alone.
We would like to clarify that emergency vehicles have to observe traffic rules as far as possible. Where time is of the essence and only when it is absolutely safe to do would emergency drivers consider travelling above the speed limit, going through a red light junction, crossing double-white lines, etc. Safety of all road users is of paramount importance, even during an emergency call.”
So, do remember to give way to emergency vehicles when you’re on the road. Those precious few seconds saved by quick driving may save many people’s lives.
Here are some recommended books on emergency vehicles.
Emergency vehicles by Felicity Brooks; designed and illustrated by Hanri Van Wyk; modelmaker, Jo Litchfield
Publisher: London : Usborne, 2007
Call No.: J P BRO -[BA]
Emergency vehicles by Seymour Simon
Publisher: San Francisco : Chronicle Books, c2006
Call No.: J P 629.225 SIM
Emergency! by Ian Graham
Publisher: London : QED Pub., 2006
Call No.: J 629.04 GRA
Wild about emergency vehicles by Caroline Bingham
Publisher: Tunbridge Wells : Ticktock Media, 2003
Call No.: J 629.225 BIN
If you wish to gather more information about emergency vehicles, some useful websites include www.scdf.gov.sg/General/index.html and www.mha.gov.sg/index.aspx
Originally answered by Goh Mei Ming, Children’s Librarian.
All websites were last accessed on 30 April 2008. Please check the websites’ homepages for the terms and conditions of use. All images were extracted from www.amazon.com and www.bn.com.
For the availability of the above book titles, please check the library catalogue.
Found this post interesting? What do you think? Post your comments. If you have a different question, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org instead of sending a comment.